Chapter 37498824

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Chapter NumberBOOK I. II.-(Continued.)
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37498824
Full Date1899-01-14
Page Number3
Corrections0
Word Count3113
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleLiverpool Herald (NSW : 1897 - 1907)
Trove TitleMarian Gonisby
article text

OKIGINAÏLJ NOATEL.

|\axii BIGHTS RESERVED.]

larian Gonisby,

By E. DOIDGE,

/. Author of *- Father and Son/ * The Daughters

"'i-of Eve,* '.'My8teiry'bf'Mérveillién,,: &o.;' !

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CHAPTER II.-(Gontinued^^/

As you do of your unworthy dad.'. .7" ¡V .-y>.t Never unworthy, '? dad.' .. -,r..;. ? t'.i* As you will never'be-of me ?.'. '? ' .. -.v -^/fjThppe nbtj'dad.''\ .. . ;

- v'But a truoe to this, .Marian. I will tell - yon the programme oboe again, for'.l'cont ass . àîïké to1 dwöll upon| it .:' * In1'a few months

.hence I shall haye everything fixed up .:>then hurrah for our long-promised holiday, < as the boys at school need to say. We shall vpack up our traps and say good-bye to / Melbourne for a year at least-perhaps for

two. Ccesar, what a pio-nio «ve shall have ! ?.A glorious trip to the old home by the new

'way, and in the newest and ' best steamer j that Baila the ocean to-day. -Two "state - cabins-one for you and ono for me-where vycu may sleep when you can, read when .". you like, and Bing when you feel in the

(humor. Now, won't it all be jolly for my 1 little girl and her old dad P'

V * Yes, I think so, father-at least, I hope > it will be ali you desire.*

1 Still a note of uncertainty-still something ?her' father had not noticed before in'any' ? comment made by Marian ap to their long

> eettled-upon trip to the oity of the old world, ?whore Josiah Q-onisby first saw the light.

' He did not know .then, he knew later on ""why there was a change in the way his . daughter looked upon their departure from

the plaoe and tho surroundings whioh had i .been her* s from ohildhood.

. ' *I will get tea ready now for you, father. " Bead your HERALD till it is ready.'

' And he did. Ho drew a chair through . tho French doors ou to tho spacious verandah

.of their comfort ab] o residence, in the not . least fashionable part of that always attract- ive portion of tho suburb of Prahan, whioh lies, roughly apeaking, between the orty and 'the park, with itd pleasing expanse of artificial lako shimmering in tho evening ? glow of tho «inking san. There is no ¿ pleasanter pluoe to reaide in than this fairly

quiet, yet never dull suburb. Villas of well ' to-do eity morohants and bettor olass tradea r people lino tho roads, not a fow of whoso

'occupants kept horses and ourringo in thoee «' days, whioh woro halcyon ones oompared /\ with tho sadly altered conditions whioh

y comparatively few of them have, up to the '^'present day, rooovorod from.

n; ' *t wonder now,' said the old man mua»

Ingly to himself-< I wonder what new u fancy, or thing, has happened to my little -"Marian that she is ne longer quite as

anxious-quite as enthusiastic, ar out our trip to Europe.'

. Then he opened his evening paper and read of tho doings of the oity : How things

were in progress for the great Exhibition, i and how new tenements, and even new streets, were being constructed all over the suburbs of their coming queen city of the south ; o£ accidents ; of investment oom paniflfl ; of mining companies ; prospectuses for now ventures in federal palaces, coffee palaoes, and loan, mortgage and agency companies ; and he was glad to think he was not ' taking any,' for he had a presentiment tha* the good sense of the people was begin-

ning to desert them, and that a time waa j coming which would noe be good for many, j Not that our narrative hangs upon that,

however. 1

And while Marian was laying tea, let us look upon her. In years, still not out of her teens, she was already a womanly creature, in bust and build, character and expression. Surely in all that street there was no prettier thing than that little head and the poise of it upon her shoulders. Clustering curly hair, nut brown, that never needed crimp- ing ; a olever looking head, which her father used to say sometimes would do credit to a Grecian statue ; with a face all in keeping with it. A bright faoe, meant to be joyous, yet, whioh waB rendered more captivating, some people said, when it was made half

pensive, half-clouded in sorrow. There was ' that of sweet pity in her soul, whioh would ring ont this expression were only a lame dog in question; but for human suffering ' there wa3 al way B the tenderest sympathy

and oonoern.

What a picture she made as ahe moved lightly and gracefully around their not too ;

opulent but very comfortable room^ placing : upon the brightly lit table the articles of silverware and flowers, whioh enlivened the

whole..

Thara is no meal in the day generally more agreeable, .whether, it be à regular 6

o'clock dinner or the lighter tea. This; evening there was a hot dinner, for the father had but lunched ia the'city, and it was one of his regular . days for dining, at home.'. " , jv?.';

' Come, father, did you not hear me say ' that dinner was ready ?' -Must I sound the gong, so that all the neighbors will know we r are having dinner, and there, are. but two of

us V, at whioh Marian laughed. . , : .'

.-'' Yes, in one moment.' . . .. . :r ' ; . ¿ ?

v' Then she went to his side and demanded to hnow what was of such absorbing interest in the paper as to keep him. f rom dinner.

'.This,* .and he pointed , to the 'reported investment in a lOOO'-aore estate on the oon fines of Melbourne, by Sir Douglas Whidden,

at what was called the bargain'price-of £50, an aere.' .;. ,: s'<';'

' ' I am sorry, he. has conoluded the purchase. He spoke to me about it a week ago and I told him what I thought of it, hut was going

to look further into the matter and talk it over with him ; now it is too late. It is reported to be a cash transaction at ¿650,000.'

'.And you don't think well of it, father ?"

; ? 'I would not advance £15^000 on the pro- perty to-morrow. Half of it is a swamp.'

' I shall be sorry if Sir Douglas has made

a mistake/

4 When did you see George ?' , 'Not sinoe he was here last,', replied Marian, with just the slightest increase in her color, if her father had notioed it', whioh

he did not.

George Whiddon was the eldest son of Sir Douglas, and quite a near neighbor of the Gonisbys. Cor years they had been inti- mate. Gonisby and Whiddon had had many

transactions in oommon ; and Sir Douglas, j oh airman of many directorates and a pro« minent member of Parliament, stood high in the finanoial world. He was ono of the men who marvelled that Josiah Gonisby should retira from business when things ware at

their best.

' ' George said he might oome in this even- ing for an hoar if you were at home,' added

Marian.

* Whioh I shall be,' said the old man, meditatively. Then, as an after thought ' I suppose George would not think of stay- ing if I was not here ?*

Marian (the very slightest trace of con- fusion manifest) : ' Ho particularly asked would you be hore this evening f '

. Quite right, my girl. You see you are no longer quito a girl, Marian; and the proprieties, you know, must be studied.'

Truth was, the proprieties had not been striotly adhered to an between tho WhiddeuB and the Gonisbys. They had for years been in and ont of each other's houses with the freedom of relations. There were one son and two daughters in the ono, and ono only

daughter in the other1; thoy wero all musical,

and the Whiddon s, from tho father down to

. .,? :. .,. .'. :,..."-;<.<. ? -, v',.r'-Vx..w ? : ...

the' youngest, were all fond of Marian Gonißby.

The table was oleared, and Gonisby re- sumed his paper. When bo had finished MB * reading he withdrew to his smoking den. Gonisby, so far, observed tho proprieties as not. to smoke in tho dining-room with or without his daughter.

And when, an hour later, he entered the drawing-room, Marian was not alone.

Quietly opening the door of the room, from which he heard the musio of two instruments, he guessed that he would find George Whiddon within. His footstep was not hoard, and he paused for a moment regarding his daughter and -her companion. She, with her back to him, was playincr a concerted piece at the grand piano. George Whiddon, seated on a low stool, was thruming an instrument, as an amateur might, who did not know the octaves, and could, at best, but vamp upon the lower notes.

' I thought 'twas so. Give that np,: George, 'tis not your instrument. . Why reverse the order of things P'

* You are right, Mr Gonisby, I'm no good at the harp ; but Marian was playing 'Chopin,* when I took the liberty of entering the room, and I took up her favorite instru- ment to improvise an accompaniment. Did you think the . eats had commenced to operate-P- '

4 Oh, it's not BO bad as that.*

. 'Oats, indeed I^my beautiful harp!' And Marian held out her hand for her well-loved instrument as George lifted it toward her.' .

In *so few Australian homes is that old fashioned but ever-tuneful instrument seen, that its presence here calls for a word of comment. Marian Gonisby had from early ohildhöod fanoied and fondled the harp. Since first the musical strain had been touohed in her sonl she had longed to play the harp. Many a time had she gpne out of her way had taken others ont of their way, that she might hear the soft, sweet melodies of the Italian street-harpist and contribute a mite to encourage the most soulful of all possible melodies. The piano, ethe would say in later yeará,, is -but ...the faulty imitation : of that simple instrument; and though she learnt to .play the piano, as it is not- given to every Australian girl to play, it was her very soul shè put into the stringed instrument;, and it was admitted, on ali sides, that Marian "Gonisby played the harp divinely. .' ' \ '

\ 4 Now what will you have, sir-this old Venetian song, or something newer P* asked Whiddon, as he made for the piano stool, for he played and sang with . some pro- ficiency, and, if put to it, . could have played fully -60 pieoes, with that sweetest of 'alt accompaniments-Marian upon] the harp.,'/ "v , ' 'v v..

The old gentleman assented to, the first named item; ' and sat; watching the young people with a rousinr; and thoughtful ex- pression.'" '

* That is better. If I shut my eyes I can easily oonjure up the gay 'gondolier of ' 'the song. What, a wealth of association there is, or is suggested, in some, songs, even to .people who never saw Venice or a real gon- dolier in their lives.' ".;!'.'

'" * Then you did not behold the fair vision, I think, father, for you did not clone your eyes, but kept them, as in a brown study, on George's back !' . ;

'4 Most observant and contradictory girl.* {

'What is there on my coat P' asked George, playfully. ' Now, if I '' were . a Chinese mandarin with stars and eyes, moons, goblins, dragons and other my- sterious signs, emblems and honors, worked, pasted, or embroidered on my coat's back,' I

could understand it. Wasn't there even a spider there P' as he made an effort as if to take off his coat. 1 j

4 Come here and sit down, lad/ said

Gonisby, pointing to a ohair by his side. j

4 How old are you, George P' '

4 Twenty next month, sir, at your servloe.' 'Not at my service, but at yonr worthy father's. He intends to take'you into ' partnership, then, does he not.'

4 Yes," that has been understood for some

time.'

'So I understand ; in faot, he told mo BO not long, since. I see by to-night's paper Sir Douglas has gone into another rather big speculation-the 'Eadrolia Estate' I think tbey oall it.*

4 Yes, and it was one of the things, ho said yesterday, ho would like you to have a hand in. * But he is sure it will tarn out trumps.'

* 1 hope it will.*

4 Do you think it will P' asked «3eorge.

Gonisby gave a shrug of. his shoulders. 4 Everything well managed, as they ' say on 'Change, turna out 'trumps' in those days. I have not seen the property of late.'

i ?.. ?? , ... Í

'buildings aro steadily progressing ia that direction, and it ÍB only a matter of a year or two, the governor says, when: build- ing pitos will be rushed, and he reokons there will bo £20,000 in it if a penny.*

4 Your father is sanguine. .. He always was sanguine.' . v . '. t .

' Too sanguine you,think» sir.?',.¡ .. f, - "i v

4 Well, yes ; but, so far, he has -ibeen luoky.' , ? 1 > >'i

'I have myself thought so. I wish hb ' had taken your opinion about.the affair.' .

' He did. He made me the first offer

But you know I am closing up on business and fox that, if for no better reason, would not touch it.' ' '?' ?

'You are satisfied and will leave well alone?' . . ., ! \

' Yes, I am satisfied, and, as you say, will leave well alone. The Esdralia Estate would not have temped me, anyway.'

4 Do you think it too remote P*

4 Yes ; the building fever, in my humble

opinion, haa about reached its olimax, and it . is rather in this direction, and further beyond us, that the city will extend-not in

that. In 5U years time the Esdralia Estate . may become valuable ; but before that utiless I am greatly .mistaken, Melbourne will have learnt some lessons-lessons I _ would rather not share in.'*: . - >>...

4 May you be a falsa prophet for once,» broke in his daughter, who now turned from - the piano, where she had been playing some

bright and airy trifles, and had oaught the concluding remarks. 4 Dear old Melbourne, may we never hear of its downfall !'

4 A sentiment I beg to most cordially . echo,* observed George. 'There's oapital - cominsr into the city every day, and rents are on the increase, and wag<3s likewise.*

' It will not-oannot last, George, mark an old man's Words. Yet say nothing to make Sir Douglas' regret his bargain-not from mo, at all events. Yet, if your father oan make a.. £10. note; on the transaction, advise ' him to do so-that's my last word about it.' . -::'«And here's the 'Lost Chord,' said Marian ;l don't -you rembember, George* .there seemed nothing remarkable in this young mon and' maiden addressing each other' by their Christian name--'we 'could not find it when/Lily was here .last, week (Lily was George's sistet). ^ 4 Ifchadsl«ppe d behind the piano.*''*'';^£ . I "U»%*>$4iù. 1

4 '. íLost chords ' are wistful things; äny wayi" said the father. '"','.''.''V, :'.ÍV". ¡'-t\ .'.

' But not this one, dad ; ; it is an inspira-

tion.' .,: .: . v...-'-1' ¿V»., ,*+ï*iï ,:. ?

So she felt it and . so she . made . it',and George modulated the itno-e metallic notes of

the grand piano that the sweeter .voice of the ' harp might swuy the .melody. : ; '?.>?;

'Tho semi-Barred 'is' where you shine, Marian,' said 'George- when they had oon oluded. , ' ,;; 'v . ' ' ?t.. '.?

'The harp is. built'for that, and for the wholly sacred, toó; ' It * ought to have a place in every ohoir'j in every oathedral, and in .every vesper! song., I really think the angels sing to the harp.'

' Golden harps,' said George, his merry eyes twinkling. * Sitting on banks of clouds -purple, azure, burnished gold andorimson. List, do you not hear, the harp in the air ?'

And even Marian laughed, but said :4 Fie, you bad boy, to make fun of the angels.'

' Who oompoBed that song ?' said the old gentleman.

' Arthur Sullivan, I think-the new musí-' oal genius, as some reokon,' said George.' "

' Well, there's music in him, but its weird

somehow.' ?

Then he fell to talking of other matter whioh need not'be detailed; and when it was time for George to say good night, he

had no inkling that very soon the Gonisbys - would be going, oise ho would havo been disturbed, for he had nome to like, most of all things, his evenings at their home ; and though he had told no one so, it was beoause he admired-not to use a stronger word Marian Gonisby more than any other girl he had ever mot-and thoro wore many charm- ing young ladies in the oirolo of society in which Sir Donglos' family moved. While oven amongst tho small sooiety of Toorak,

th ero was, perhaps, not a moro desirable ' 'eligiblo' than Gaorge Whiddon.

(To bo continued.)

A ouriouH taot ia montiouod ny a lady writer, namely, that tho poat of Foreign Ministor haa nover boon filled by a widower, but always by a married man, from the roi gu of William IV. till tho appointment of Lord Roseberry.

Fow pornonu aro awaro that tho British Govirnmont look after tho gravoa of soldiers who havo perished in foreign wars, and that £200 is paid yearly for maintaining tho oemotory in tho Crimea. The sum nf £7 is also gi von for kooping tho EuirHub. graven lu

order at Suakim. PrinUA in Mw South VtaHi